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The Life and Speeches of John C. Calhoun

Brownson's Quarterly Review, January, 1844
Art. V. - 1. Life of John C. Calhoun, presenting a Condensed History of Political Events from 1811 to 1843. New-York: Harper & Brothers. 1843. 8vo.   pp. 76.
2.  Speeches of John C  Calhoun, delivered  in  the Congress of the   United States, from 1811  to the Present  Time.     New-York :   Harper &  Brothers." 1843.    8vo.   pp. 554.
The title of the second work here named is inexact, and was given inconsiderately by the publishers, or edi­tor, before receiving from Mr. Calhoun the one origi­nally intended. The appropriate title, and which the author intended, as nearly as we remember, - for we have not now before us his Letter to the Editors of the National Intelligencer, in which he gives it, - is, " A Selection from the Speeches and other Writings of John C. Calhoun, since 1825, together with his Speech in Congress on the Subject of the War, December 19, 1811." The title of the first-named work is well chosen, and liable to no objection. The life of Mr. Calhoun is intimately connected with the political history of the country, and his biography is neces­sarily a history of all the political events which have transpired since his entrance into the Congress of the United States. Perhaps no one of our statesmen has more completely identified himself with the history of the country. He no sooner entered Congress than he took an active and leading part, which he has continued from that time to this. This fact his able and can­did biographer has properly appreciated, and has, in giving us a biographical sketch of Mr. Calhoun, given us one of the best political histories of the country, for the last thirty years and more, to be found in our litera­ture.
John C. Calhoun, of Irish descent, was born in Abbeville district, South Carolina, March 18th, 1782, and is now in the sixty-second year of his age. He re­ceived his earliest education at a school in Columbia county, Georgia, kept by his brother-in-law, Mr. War-dell, a Presbyterian minister. Subsequently, he entered Yale College, where he graduated in 1804, with dis­tinction. He then devoted three years to the study of the law, eighteen months of which were spent at the celebrated Law School at Litchfield, Connecticut, at that time kept by Judge Reeves and Mr. Gould ; the residue was spent in the offices of Mr. De Saussure (afterwards chancellor), of Charleston, and of Mr. Bowie, of Abbeville. His preparatory studies completed, he commenced the practice of the law in his native dis­trict, and at once took his stand with the oldest and ablest lawyers on the circuit.
Mr. Calhoun was not suffered to remain long at the bar. He was soon elected to the legislature of his native State, where he served two sessions. In the fall of 1810, he was elected to the Congress of the United States, and has since been, in one capacity or another, connected with the Federal Government without any intermission, till his recent retirement from the Senate. He was a member of Congress six years ; then Secre­tary of War somewhat over seven ; Vice-President of the United States from March 4th, 1825, to his resig­nation in the winter of 1832-'3 ; and senator, from that time till his recent resignation.
This hasty sketch merely shows us the sphere in which Mr. Calhoun has been placed, and the important and honorable offices he has filled ; it tells us little or nothing of the man, or of the statesman. To be able to form any tolerable estimate of the man and the statesman, we must look to the questions in which he has been called to take part by his position and office, and to the part he has actually taken. Our limits will permit us merely to glance at a few of the more prom­inent of these questions. The principal questions, which came up during the time Mr. Calhoun Was in Congress, were, 1. The war with England; 2. The United States Bank ; 3. The Tariff and Internal Im­provements.
With regard to the first, Mr. Calhoun took an active part, and his first speech in Congress was designed to urge immediate and ample preparation for war. He was a uniform supporter of the war, and no man in Congress did more to suggest, mature, and obtain the adoption of efficient measures for prosecuting it; and no one in the country did more to stimulate the cour­age and the patriotism of the people. If the war was a just, necessary, and patriotic measure, Mr. Calhoun's "course in regard" to it was wise, bold, efficient, and de­serving the warm approbation of his countrymen.
He also took a prominent part in the Bank question. At this time the Bank was an administration measure, and therefore a measure of the Republican party, with which Mr. Calhoun generally acted.    It was not then, as now, a measure of the Federal party ; it was de­manded by a Republican administration, at the head of which was James Madison, and was supported by the majority of the more prominent individuals among its friends.   It should also be remembered, that the circum­stances, under which the project of a bank was then put forward and supported, were very different from those under which the recharter of the late Bank of the United States was urged, and the end proposed to be accom­plished by it was by no means the same.    Nothing  is more plain than that Congress does not. possess the sub­stantive power to create a bank ; but it is equally clear, that it has the power to create one, whenever it be­comes necessary to enable the Federal government to discharge its constitutional functions.    It is a power possessed only as an incident to other powers.
How far the regulation of the currency, beyond that of coining money, or putting its stamp on gold and silver, is the duty of the Federal government, may possibly be made a question ; but, for ourselves, we have always agreed with Mr. Webster, that the currency is placed exclusively under its control; and, therefore, if a paper currency is admitted at all, it must be subject to Federal regulation. Of course, then, if a United States Bank were necessary for this purpose, the right to create one would vest in Congress, as incident to the power to regulate the currency. But, however this may be, when the government is placed in such a condition, that it cannot perform its express and unquestionably constitu­tional functions without a bank, Congress has a right to create one ; as the grant of a power, or the imposition of a duty, carries along with it, always, all the powers necessary to the exercise of that power, or the perform­ance of that duty ; and also, because the Constitution expressly declares, that Congress shall have power to make all laws necessary for carrying into effect " all powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof."
Now, it was contended at the time, in the then existing state of the currency, that the government, in its finan­cial department, could not go on without a bank. The currency was deranged, specie payments were suspended by the banks, and the government, in consequence of its connexion with them, was obliged to receive its dues in their irredeemable paper. This paper was of imequal value in different parts of the Union. Its depreciation was as great as twenty per cent, in the District of Co­lumbia, compared with that of Boston. How was it possible, in this case, to collect the revenues in a me­dium of uniform value, so as to obey the Constitution in not giving to one port in the Union an advantage over another? How, with this paper currency, varying in value as you passed from one State to another, and from one section of the Union to another, was it possi­ble to equalize the imposts and taxes ? It was necessa­ry to compel the resumption of specie payments. To do this was the right and the duty of the government. The only question was as to the means. If a bank was necessary, a bank would, of course, under this view of the case, be constitutional.
The administration believed a bank to be necessary, and essential to the financial operations of the govern­ment, as well as for the general regulation of the cur­rency of the country in view of trade and commerce. The case of the banks, at this time, was very different from what it was in 1837.    In  1837, the banks sus­pended payment, because they had made over-issues to individuals, who were not in a condition to be coerced into payment; and the suspension was rather a measure of relief to the debtors of the banks, than to the banks themselves.    A measure of the Federal government, at that moment, compelling the banks to resume instanter, would have fallen not only with great weight on the * banks themselves, but with a crushing weight on the great mass of the business men of the country.    The recharter of a United States Bank in 1837, then, would have been  a measure of terrible severity, and would have added not a little to the embarrassments from which the whole industry of the country was already suffering. But at the former period the case was different.    The banks  had  over-issued, but,  as Mr. Calhoun has re­marked,  they had over-issued  to the  government,  a solvent debtor, whose stock was at par.    The banks held this stock, and might have gone into the market and sold it for specie, and with that redeemed the ex­cess of their issues.   But this they would not do.   They chose rather to draw interest on the stock, by discount­ing on it as capital, and to profit by its continued rise in the market.    It was necessary to compel them to surrender   these   advantages which  they  held.     The case here had scarcely any analogy with that of 1837; and the reasons for a bank, in the former case, were of a very different force from what they were in the latter. The principal weight of the bank, in the former case, would fall, not on the debtors of the banks, but on the banks themselves, and be felt in compelling them to use the government stock for taking up their over­issues, instead of using it as the basis of speculations.
It must be borne in mind, that the government was so linked in with the banks, by the fact of its treat­ing their issues as money, that, at that time, the total separation of the government from them, by its refusal to receive and pay away their notes, was out of the question. Moreover, public opinion in relation to banks and banking would not, even for a moment, have sustained the government in so bold a measure, if it had attempted it. No practical statesman could, at that epoch, have proposed such a measure. The boldest measure practicable was the resolution introduced by Mr. Webster, in 1816, prohibiting Congress from re­ceiving, or paying away, the notes of any non-specie paying banks, in the collection or disbursement of its revenues.
But two methods of relieving the embarrassments of the government, and of compelling the banks to resume specie payments, were then possible ; one, a national bankrupt law, and the other, a uational bank. Mr. Cal-houn was, as now, opposed to the former, as harsh, and unconstitutional; for, evidently, if the States have the right to incorporate banks, the exercise of that right cannot be controlled by the action of the Federal gov­ernment, as it would be, by including them within the operations of a bankrupt law. Nothing remained, then, but a national bank. Mr. Oalhoun, then, finally, with the greatest reluctance, went with the Republican ad­ministration, and the leading Republicans of the time, in support of a natioual bank. But, even then, he was unfavorable to a bank, regarding the question as one of bank or no-bank.
" In supporting the bank of 1816," he says, in a speech in the Senate, in 1837, "I openly declared, that, as a question de novo, I would be decidedly against the bank, and would be the last to give it my support. I also slated, that, in supporting the bank then, I yielded to the necessity of the case, growing out of the then existing and long established connexion be­tween the government and the banking system. I took the ground, even at that early period, that, so long as the connex­ion existed, - so long as the government received and paid away bank-notes as money, - it was bound to regulate their value, and had no alternative but the establishment of a na­tional bank. I found the connexion existing before my time, and over which I could have no control. 1 yielded to the necessity, in order to correct the disordered state of the cur­rency, which had fallen exclusively under the control of the States." - Speeches, p. 263.
Mr. Calhoun is eminently a practical statesman.    Although possessing uncommon powers of generalization, as well as of acute analysis, and disposed always to look to first principles, yet he is always ready to yield, when necessary, to the force of circumstances. Though never, properly speaking, a bank man, and opposed to a national bank in principle, as a measure of indepen­dent and permanent policy, yet, in the circumstances in which he found the government and the country, in 1816, he could support a bank; and we, certainly, as strongly opposed as we are to the whole banking sys­tem, see not how he could have done better; for we are decidedly of the opinion, that, if the Federal gov­ernment will treat bank-notes as money, receive them and pay them away, it is bound to regulate them, and a national bank seems, and always has seemed to us, the only feasible method of doing it.
In the third question, relating to the Tariff and In­ternal Improvements, Mr. Calhoun had also occasion to take part. In regard to the Tariff, the question, in 1816, was not a question of laying a tariff of duties for protection, but that of adjusting the war tariff to the relations of peace. The war had been the occasion of calling into existence various manufacturing establish­ments, which, supported by the high war duties, had attained to a state of considerable prosperity. It was feared, that peace, and a reduction of duties, would, by allowing a large increase of foreign importations, crush these incipient establishments, to the ruin of their pro­prietors, and the serious injury of the country. The country had suffered much, in the early part of the war, from its inability to meet at once the demands for con­sumption, created by the sudden diminution of foreign importations. To guard against this evil, to save the establishments already in existence, and to continue the stimulus which had already been given to the manu­facturing industry of the country, a discrimination was called for, in the new tariff, in favor of such articles as were, or might be, the growth and manufacture of our own country. It was not a question of laying new duties, but as to the degree of discrimination to be exercised in reducing, or taking off, already existing duties. Mr. Calhoun supported, or rather assented to, the discriminations demanded by the manufacturers.
It is probable, and we feel fully assured, that, if the broad, naked question of protection had then come up, and Congress had been called upon, as it was in 1824 and 1828, to adjust its tariff expressly with a view to protection, Mr. Calhoun would, even then, have been opposed to the protective, or, more properly, restrictive, system. But he does not appear, at that period, to have fully investigated the subject, and we think that he yielded more than he should have done. Then was the time to have resisted the system ; and the only prac­tical error we have found in Mr. Calhoun's long career as a statesman is, that he did not resist it. To say, as some do, that he is the father of the system, and that he fastened it upon the country, is not true ; and the moment the question came up, in regard to a tariff, not for revenue, but for protection, he was found, where he has continued, in opposition to the system. The tariff of 1816 was a tariff for revenue ; revenue was its sole object; and it touched the question of protection only incidentally, only in not reducing the duties on certain articles so low as they possibly might and would have been, if, in adjusting them, no reference had been had to the demands of the manufacturers. But even this was too much.
We do not find, that Mr. Calhoun ever committed himself to the constitutionality of the vast system of In­ternal Improvements by the Federal government, which was commenced soon after the return of peace ; but we have little doubt, that, for a moment, he shared in the strong tendencies of the times. The effect of the war had been to draw off attention from the States, and to concentrate it on the Federal government; at least, this was the fact, so far as the Republican party was con­cerned. During the war, the rights of the States were defended by the Federalists. War has always a cen­tralizing tendency, and, of course, the party waging and sustaining the war will always feel this tendency the most. Add to this, that the party in favor of the war meets resistance, not only from individuals, but from States acting as States, which was the case in the war with England; and it is easy to see, that it will be led to restrict, as much as possible, the sphere of State action, and to enlarge and consolidate the powers of the Federal government. Now this is precisely what actually occurred. The Republican party, originally inclining to the States' Rights doctrines, and distrustful of the centralization of power in the Federal govern­ment, was the party that declared and sustained the war. In doing this, it had been forced to sustain the Federal government against the Federal party, and the States in which that party was in the ascendency. All its habits and feelings came thus to be on the side of the Federal government, and to carry it away by a strong tendency towards centralization. Its members were strongly impressed, not with the necessity of maintaining the reserved rights of the States, but with the value of the Union, and the necessity of a strong and efficient central government. The Hartford Con­vention, which was got up as a sort of safety valve, as a means of letting off the superfluous steam which a violent opposition to the government and the war had generated in New England, had made many fear for the stability of the Union, and turn their attention to the means of consolidating and strengthening it. A vast system of public works, carried on by the Federal gov­ernment, extending through all parts of the Union, and connecting all the extremities with the centre, and affording facilities to internal trade and intercourse, would obviously tend to this end. Men's minds were dazzled, and they began to dream of a great, a splendid Republic, one and indivisible, under a government fos­tering all interests, literature and science, prepared for all the emergencies of war, and all the arts of peace.
That Mr. Calhoun, for a time, shared this tendency, then the tendency of the Republican party, we have no doubt, and that he was, for a time, disposed to counte­nance it, we think not unlikely ; but, if so, he soon corrected himself, and resumed the genuine States' Rights doctrine, - a doctrine which divides, with us, the ex­ercise of the powers of government between two co­ordinate governments, the State government and the Federal, leaving to the State the exercise of all the func­tions of government, except those expressly committed by the States to the Federal government.
Mr. Calhoun's career, as Secretary of War, deserves a full and extended notice, but we are obliged to pass it over with a single remark. He found the Department in the utmost disorder and confusion, and in a very few months he wholly reorganized it, increasing its eflicien-cy, while at the same time retrenching very considera­bly its expenses. He here showed, in his reorganiza­tion and administration of the War Department, during the seven years of his secretariship, those remarkable administrative powers, unequalled by any executive oflicer we have ever had, and never surpassed by any one in modern times, unless perhaps by Napoleon. As much as we admire Mr. Calhoun, as a clear, profound, and original thinker, as the able and manly parliament­ary orator, as the philosophical politician, we are far more impressed by his consummate ability as an admin­istrative officer. He has remarkable powers of combi­nation ; sees, at once, precisely what is requisite to be done ; and is unerring in the selection of his means and agents. We have no other statesman that can challenge comparison with him. He knows how to accomplish his ends, to establish a rigid accountability in every depart­ment, and to render it all but impossible for his agents to prove unfaithful or dishonest. Not a single defalca­tion took place in his department during the time he was at its head, and of the millions of dollars that passed through the hands of his subordinates, not a cent was lost to the government. One is tempted to ask the (< sage of Lindenwold," whether he can say as much of the four years that it was his good fortune to be at the head of the Federal administration ?
We  have  dwelt the  longer on this period of Mr. Calhoun's career, because it was in this period that he laid the foundation of his popularity, and established his claims to be considered one of the very first men in the country ; and because it is the period of his life which the younger aspirants now on the stage are least familiar with, and oftenest misapprehend.    We cannot follow him minutely in his subsequent career, as Vice-President for nearly eight years, and as Senator since the winter of 1832 - 3.    During the leisure and oppor­tunity, which the  light duties  of his office of Vice-President afforded him, he seems to have matured his views on all the great leading questions of government, of the Constitution,  political economy,  and the   gen-oral principles of legislation, in which he  has since taken part.    The most important of the questions on which lie has given his views are, the Restrictive Sys­tem, the nature, extent, and limitations of the Federal Government, and of the rights of the States; the Cur­rency, the United  States Bank, and the Banking Sys­tem ; Distribution of the  proceeds of the sales of the Public Lands;  the   Bankrupt Laws ;   the Enterprise and Creole cases, involving questions of international law ; the Ashburton Treaty, <fcc.
Of the restrictive system, the protective system, or American system, Mr. Calhoun has been the steady, uniform, and uncompromising opponent from the first,- the not pressing opposition to it in the form it came up in, in 1816, excepted, and then, as we have seen, he gave it no positive support. The real father of the system is Mr. Clay, a brilliant orator, of great ability, but a short-sighted statesman, - a man of expedients, not given to " abstractions," nor accustomed to look for first principles; captivated always by what appears plausible and likely to produce an immediate partial good, - a great man in his way certainly, but perhaps the unsafest of all our public men to be intrusted with, power, or the general administration of the government. Mr. Clay, we doubt not, was honest in bringing the system forward, and in supporting it; and he, no doubt, believed, that it would prove highly advantageous to the country.    But he never understood the operation of the system. Mr. Clay, so far as he has, or ever has had, any definite theory of government, is a democrat, in the worse, and in the better, sense of the word. When he first moved this measure, we make no doubt, that his real motive was to benefit the industrial classes, and at that period the industrial classes were far from being as sharply divided as now, into proprietors and proletaries. Especially was this true in his own section of the Union. The industrial classes were, in one way or another, nearly all producers ; and his object was, to secure them a market for their produce, or rather to en­able them to exchange their industry for the various necessaries and conveniences of life.
Now, he said, with foreign trade, this cannot be done ; because foreigners exclude our produce. We must therefore build up factories of our own, which will take the raw material of us, and give us manufac­tured goods in return, and then we shall be inde­pendent ; both producer and manufacturer will be ben­efited. What if the article manufactured at home costs more than the imported article ? Let the imported article be ever so cheap, you cannot buy it, without you have wherewithal to pay for it; and as you can­not pay for it in produce, you must, if you buy it, pay for it in money. But you must first get the money ; and how can you get the money, unless you sell your produce for money ? But that is impossible, for there are none to purchase it and pay us money for it. But, if the article is manufactured at home, you have the means of purchasing it, because you can exchange your produce for it; and, though it may be nominally dearer, it will be actually cheaper, than the imported article, because the former is purchasable, and the latter is not. This, if we recollect aright, is the sum and substance of his famous speech in Committee of the Whole, in 1824, though we have not read the speech since the spring of that year.
Now, this at first glance is plausible, but it is exceed­ingly fallacious. If Mr. Clay's premises are true, his protective system is unnecessary.    Did it never occur to him, that it makes no practical difference, as to the effect on our manufactures, whether it is the foreigner who excludes our produce, or we who exclude his manufactures ? Foreigners can sell to us only on con­dition that they take in return, directly or indirectly, what is the growth or manufacture of our own country; consequently, their refusal to do this excludes them as effectually from our markets, as would a law of our own, imposing absolutely prohibitory duties. If, then, it was true, that foreigners would not, as Mr. Clay alleged, take our produce, there was no occasion for restrictive duties ; because this refusal of foreigners prevented them from coming into our markets to com­pete with our own manufacturers. If this was the state of things, as Mr. Clay assumed, the restrictive system was useless and absurd ; if there was not this state of things, that is, if foreigners would buy of us our sur­plus agricultural produce, then, the interest represented by Mr. Clay did not demand the policy he supported, for the foreign market was better for it than any artificial home market that could be created.
Mr. Clay's policy was, evidently, to confine American industry to American markets, - a narrow, contracted, and barbarian policy, wholly unworthy of the liberal spirit of modern times, which seeks to mould the whole human family into one vast association, and to make of the boundary lines of nations little more than the lines which separate different provinces of the same empire. He sought to isolate us from all the rest of the world, and to make us a nation wholly apart, without taking any interest in the general affairs of mankind. We would raise our own raw materials, and work them up for ourselves ; just as if Providence would suffer a nation, more than an individual, to subsist in complete isolation ! Each nation, no doubt, revolves on its own axis, but only as the condition of revolving around another centre, and of performing its part in the gen­eral system of nations with which it is connected. America has a part to perform in the general ?'6le of nations, and from which it has no right to attempt to withdraw itself.    It must contribute to the weal of na­tions, as well as to its own  weal.    Nations have no more right than individuals to be governed by complete selfishness.    They should  be  animated  by generous ideas, and pursue, not a selfish, but a generous policy. Mr. Clay, who is a man of strong feelings and  gener­ous impulses, felt this, when he favored the emancipa­tion of Spanish America, of the Greeks, the Poles, &c, and we are sorry that he did not, when it concerned the peculiar interests of his own section of the country. But the policy was not only illiberal, anti-social, and repugnant to   the   general   mission of America in the work of modern civilization, but it was necessarily im­potent with regard to the end for which it was sought. The  great interests of our country are  the planting interest, the farming interest, the commercial, and the manufacturing  interests.    It was the farming interest, the   agricultural   interest,   as  distinguished   from the planting interest, that Mr. Clay represented, and wished to promote.    This was the interest of his more imme­diate constituents, the Western and Middle States ; and he sought to benefit them, by creating a home demand for their surplus produce.    It was not the manufac­turing interest, as such, that he cared for, and he sought to advance it only as the condition of fostering the farm­ing interest.    That this was so is evinced by the fact, that his policy was supported, built up, and fastened on the country, by the Middle and Western States, where this  interest predominates, against the votes of both the North and the  South, representing the commercial and planting  interests.    Now, the slightest glance at the wide extent of our farming country, and its vast agricultural  resources, is sufficient to show us, that no home market, which it is possible to create, can by any means satisfy its wants.   Obviously, our cotton factories, unless we should manufacture for the whole world, can­not work up all the raw cotton we can grow ; equally obvious is it, that no manufacturing population we can create can consume  more than a small portion of the surplus beef, pork, corn, wheat, &c, we can produce, if we at all develope our agricultural resources. Thus far, the home market has done, and does, little or noth­ing towards determining the price of the great agricul­tural staples of the country.
Mr. Clay's policy, say what we will of it, was either unnecessary, or inadequate, let alone its justice, its con­stitutionality, and its effect on the relative position of the two classes of industrials, namely, proprietors and proletaries, - of which last, we shall seize an early occa­sion to speak at length.    And this fact is now begin­ning to be very clearly seen and felt.    The planting interest was always opposed to the restrictive system; the commercial never more than reluctantly acquiesced, and that only because the wants of the manufacturing interest  required  an  importation  of articles,  not the growth of this country, nearly equal to the diminution they otherwise occasioned, and more especially because the banking system, strengthened by the public depos­its, greatly enlarged by high duties, by expanding  the currency,  so  raised  the  prices of all articles, that it could come in over the restrictive tariff, pay the high duties, and still make a handsome profit; and now the farming interest feels the inadequacy of the home mar­ket, and demands admission into the foreign.    It feels, that Mr. Clay's policy, which it so eagerly embraced, and so  cordially supported, is really insufficient and hostile ; and that, by closing, to some extent, our markets to foreign manufactures, it closes foreign markets to our agricultural products.    The system is, therefore, now rapidly arraying against itself the three great and lead­ing interests of the country, the planting interests of the South, the commercial interests of the cities, and the farming  interests of the Middle  and Western  States ; and it must, necessarily, be soon abandoned.    The true policy for the manufacturing interest, in this state of things, is to acquiesce, and make the best bargain it can.    It is able now to take care of itself, and its fur­ther extension should be left to its own natural devel­opment.    Its natural  growth will be as rapid as the wants of the country demand, or its healthy state will admit. It can no longer rely on the restrictive system. Too powerful interests are leagued against that system, to suffer it to remain as the permanent policy of the country. It may be adopted by this Congress, but it will be repealed, or essentially modified, by the next ; thus keeping the country in a state of constant agita­tion, and business uncertain and fluctuating. The manufacturers should, therefore, demand, at least, con­sent to, such policy, as, from the fact of its being just to all sections and interests, will stand a good chance of being permanent.
The government must rely principally on the cus­toms for its revenues, and it will want, even under the most economical administration, every cent that it is possible to raise from them. We shall be obliged to lay as high duties as can be laid, without diminishing revenue itself. These, we take it, will average about twenty-five per cent. ; higher than this, they would, we are inclined to believe, tend to diminish instead of increasing revenue ; and less would not give us a revenue adequate to the wants of the government. A revenue tariff, - to which nobody objects, - averag­ing, say, twenty-five per cent, on all ovlv imports, would afford the manufacturers all the incidental protection they would need, or should have the face to ask for.
Taking this view of the case, we confess, that the tariff question does not interest us so much as it once did, and we think the controversy respecting it is in a fair way of being soon brought to a satisfactory close. But this was not always the case. The system had another aspect, which made it exceedingly unjust and oppressive to the Southern section of the country. If the manufacturing districts at the North could have taken up the main portion of the staples of the South, perhaps there would have been in the system no great sectional unfairness. But the home market they cre­ated for the Southern staples, cotton, rice, tobacco, &c, was altogether so inadequate, that it had little or no effect in determining their price. The planters had, after the adoption of the system, the same need of foreign markets that they had before. But the tariff, by restricting foreign imports, had a double effect; it lessened the foreign demand for the staples of the South, and raised the price to the planter of all manu­factured articles he must purchase in return for his staples. It thus diminished his means, while it aug­mented the price of the articles he consumed. It bore with peculiar hardship, therefore, upon the South. The North, which manufactured, though paying the same price for the articles it consumed, did not feel it, be­cause it was the manufacturer, and because it was fur­ther indemnified by the protective bounty. But there was no drawback in favor of the South.
Nor was this all. The revenues were raised from the customs, by a tax on importations. But the im­ports can have no other basis than the exports of the country. A tax, therefore, on imports is effectively a tax on exports. The tax enhances the price to the consumer ; and nothing is better established than that just in proportion as you enhance the price to the con­sumer do you diminish consumption. By diminishing the consumption, you diminish the ability of the for­eigner to sell, and, of course, his ability to buy. Con­sequently, the exporter finds the ability of his foreign customer to buy of him diminished just in proportion as the tax on imports has diminished their consumption. He must, then, export less, or at a less profit; in either case, his means are diminished in the same proportion that the means of his customer are diminished. He must abate of his exports enough to place his foreign customer in the same condition he would bo in, if the tax on his customer's wares, when imported into the country, had not been laid ; which proves, that it is vir­tually the exports that pay the tax on the imports.
Now, the exports were principally from the South. Its great staples were the basis of our imports; and, as the revenues of the government were derived from the customs, the South virtually paid all the taxes for the support of the government. The tariff was, therefore, evidently unconstitutional,  because   the  Constitution, requires the taxes to be proportioned equally among the States, according to the Federal census; and it was peculiarly oppressive to the South, because it threw upon it all the burdens of the government, while it de­pressed its industry, and not only exempted the North from taxation, but gave it a bounty on its industry.*(footnote: * While we very strenuously contend for freedom of commerce, as between nations, we by no means give in to the modern free-trade, or laissez-faire,policy, as advocated by the late lamented Wil­liam Leggett, and others. It is on other principles we found our opposition to the restiictive system. We have no confidence in what is said about individuals being the best judges of their own interests, and that all that is necessary for the peace and prosperity of a people is to leave them the natural workings of free covipelition. The. duty of government is not simply to let us alone, to leave us to ourselves, and content itself with merely maintaining an open field for the full play of our natural selfishness. This would be for government to abdicate itself. We hold it to be the duty of government, often, to take the initiative, and by a wise and sound policy to foster and direct the industry of the country.--end of footnote)

Mr. Calhoun was one of the first to see the inevita­ble tendency of the system, and to expose it. But what could reason and expostulation do ? Mr. Clay had made the great farming States-commanding, when the others are at all divided, a majority - believe it for their interest to support it, and, against New England and the South, it was adopted. The power of these great central States the sagacious General Jackson was not slow to discover ; and, finding them wedded, for the moment, to the restrictive policy, he adopted it, against the interests of his own section, and against the best interests of the country, and gave it the support of his astute politics, and immense personal popularity ; and, as if determined that it should be the permanent policy of the country, he was hardly seated in the Presidential chair, before he recommended the distribution of the proceeds of the sales of the public lands among the States, - a measure, which, in common charity, we pre­sume was concocted in the Albany Laboratory. In this case, Mr. Clay, at the head of the opposition, supporting the unjust, unequal, and unconstitutional measure ; Gen­eral Jackson and his friends also supporting it in principle. and consenting to modify it only in a few details, and these mostly in a sense unfavorable to the South, what could be done ?
It was the gloomiest time the country has ever seen. The Constitution had become only so much waste paper ; the principles of constitutional republicanism were lost sight of, by one party and the other; and opposition and administration both seemed to agree, that any measure, which the majority of the people were in favor of, could in all cases rightfully pass. It was a day of trial. The sage of Monticello had seen the tendency before his death, and raised his warning voice, but his countrymen paid no attention to it; the glory had departed from the Old Dominion ; New Eng­land had been forced into the support of the obnoxious policy by the Middle and Western States, and, being the chief gainer by it, could not be expected to go against it; the great mass of the active politicians were more concerned about the " spoils," than they were about the wise and just administration of the govern­ment ; and even the chief of the administration felt so little the responsibility of his situation, that he found ample leisure to interfere in the visiting and social rela­tions of the families of his secretaries. What could be done to save the country ? who was there to do it ?
There was but one man in the country, who could, or who, being able, would, at this juncture, have dared to step forth to arrest the fatal tendency, and to save the Union, the country, and republican institutions. This man was John 0. Calhoun. He had the sagacity to perceive, the courage to adopt, and the energy to force the adoption, of the only practicable measure left. Going into a profound analysis of our system of gov­ernment, guided by the teachings of Jefferson, he re­called to his countrymen a fact, which, since the return of peace, they had overlooked and forgotten; namely, that the Federal government is a constitutional com­pact, entered into by sovereign States, and, therefore, that the sovereignty with us vests not in the Federal government, but in the  States,  parties  to  the compact. In forming the compact, the S.tates did not part with their sovereignty, but merely formed a mutual com­pact, by which they solemnly stipulated, that certain specified attribntes of sovereignty should be exercised henceforth, not by each State separately, but by all in common, or conjointly. In this case, the allegiance, due from the subject to the sovereign, is not due to the Federal government, but to the State. The Federal government reaches me, a subject of Massachusetts, only through the government of Massachusetts, and I therefore owe only such obedience to the Federal gov­ernment, as Massachusetts has enacted.
This view, of course, leaves the State free to exer­cise all the functions of government, except those which she has stipulated shall be exercised only con­jointly with the other States of the Union. She has,' then, by virtue of this reserved sovereignty, the right to set aside, in her own dominions, and so far as concerns her own subjects, any and every act of Congress, which is not authorized by the terms of the constitu­tional compact. The parties to the compact being equal, and there being no common umpire, each, as a matter of course, is its own judge of the infraction of the compact, and of the mode and measure of redress. The State, then, if she judged proper, had the sovereign right to set aside this obnoxious tariff enactment, in her own dominions, and prohibit her subjects, or citizens, from obeying it; and they, on their allegiance to the State, and not to the Union, would be bound to treat it  as a nullity. The resistance, firm, decided, of a single State, would, of course, prove effectual; for the ma­chinery of government would thus be stopped, as effectually as the Tribunitial veto arrested the act of the Roman Senate.
We here merely state the doctrine ; but we intend hereafter to take it up at length, and to do our best to determine, if possible, once for -all, its soundness, or unsoundness. All we would now say is, that we have no sympathy with those political friends of Mr. Calhoun, who   seek  to  palliate   his  doctrine  concerning State interposition, and to forget, and to induce the country to forget, the part he took. We hold ourselves among the warmest, if not among the most politic, of Mr. Calhoun's friends, and we are willing and anxious to rest his claims to the admiration and gratitude of his country, on the part he took, by means of the inter­position of State action, in arresting the obnoxious pol­icy. It is here, more than anywhere else, that is re­vealed his disinterestedness as a man, his fidelity as a patriot, and his courage, force, and wisdom as a states­man. It was a proud moment for Mr. Calhoun, that when he rose in the Senate chamber, to pronounce his protest, and that of the chivalrous State he represented, against the coercive measures recommended by the ad­ministration ; when, with the axe of the executioner suspended over his head, and the chief of the nation watching eagerly for an opportunity to command it to fall, with the whole force of the government arrayed against him on the one hand, and on the other the whole force of the opposition, scarcely inferior, - when he rose there and stood unmoved, and with his single force turned back each hostile army, and laid their respective chiefs at his feet, and dictated to them the terms on which he would grant them mercy. There is no instance iu our history where a man has dared so much, nor where such daring has been crowned with so sudden and so signal a triumph. The moral atti­tude of the man, at that moment, was sublime, almost beyond a parallel in history. He set then to the states­man an example of civic virtue, of moral heroism, of patriotic devotion, and of consummate wisdom and skill, rarely, if ever, before, exhibited in so eminent a degree, and which none but statesmen of the very highest order can even appreciate, much less follow. Shall a friend of Mr. Calhoun blush at this sublime example, which every republican statesman should struggle, in case of need, to imitate ? Shall we pass lightly over it, for fear we may kindle wp anew some old prejudices, and perhaps endanger his success as a candidate for the Presidency ?    What is the Presidency of these United States to such a man as Mr. Cal-houn ? Just as if an election to the Presidential chair were a new triumph for him, who alone had proved himself more than a match for the combined forces of both administration and opposition ; and who had seen both Jackson and Clay at his feet! Just as if he had not already risen higher, and achieved honors far above all possible official rank and dignity ! It may be a matter of some moment to the country, whether Mr. Calhoun shall or shall not be President of the Union; to himself it is none at all. The Presidential chair may receive new dignity and lustre from him ; to him it can give none.
We have heard it said, that Mr. Calhoun is ambitious; and we believe he is ambitious ; but his ambition is of that sort which is incomprehensible to the ignoble minds who aspire to place and power as the means of ac­quiring wealth or renown ; it is of that sort which leads a Socrates to persist in teaching the youth of his country to love truth, and practise virtue, at the risk of being condemned to death ; the Decii to devote themselves for the salvation of the Republic ; and the saint to prefer burning at the stake, to the abandonment of principle, or the desertion of the cause of God and humanity. Ambition of this sort he has, and in a much larger abundance than falls to the lot of ordinary mortals ; and we thank God, that, for the honor and safety of our common country, it is so. Little men, petty politicians, unconscious of aught great or generous in their own feelings or motives, may fancy, that, in his resistance to the tariff of 1828, he was governed by spite toward the chief of the administration, and that he was moved by disappointed ambition. Disappointed ambition ! Why, he stood the second officer in the Republic, and with one foot, as it were, in the first, the most popular man in the nation, at least with a single ex­ception, and able at will to rise to the highest official rank and dignity the country could give. Such a man's ambition disappointed ? Preposterous. That he was disappointed in General Jackson, whom he had generously supported for the Presidency, that he may even have spurned with contempt the petty intrigues, the narrow and selfish policy, introduced by politicians of the Albany school, whose loftiest maxim was, " to the victor belong the spoils," is very possible ; but no man, holding the position he held before the country, could possibly have taken the course he did, risked so much, sacrificed so much, from any purely personal motive. Say, if you will, his doctrine was unsound, or that its application was uncalled for ; but do not, we beseech you, so libel your own hearts, and your own knowledge of human nature, as even to pretend, that a man can do what he did at the command of any other voice than that of the deepest convictions of duty, the loftiest patriotism, and the most generous devotion to principle.
We confess, that we linger with uncommon pleasure, and hope, oh this period of Mr. Oalhoun's life. In these days of venality and corruption, of selfishness and plun­der, when patriotism is scouted, and civic virtue scarce­ly once thought of, it is some consolation to find one, even in the ranks of the highest, who can be moved by more generous impulses than love of popularity, and follow the lead of a loftier ambition than the mere self­ish possession of place and power. His example is full of moral grandeur, and with superb majesty rebukes the whole herd of selfish and intriguing aspirants. It proves that Providence has not wholly deserted us and given us over to a reprobate mind, and permits us to hope, even in these hours of darkness, that there is in the country the virtue that will redeem and save it. Yes, my countrymen, there is yet hope for us ; the Providence that watched over us in the days of our childhood, that, from the little band of wanderers in the desert, has enabled us to become a great and mighty nation, and whom we have so often proved by our trans­gressions and hard-heartedness, is yet with us, and will deliver us.
We wish our limits would permit us to go through with an analysis of the remaining questions, and point out the part Mr. Calhoun has taken ; but this we cannot do, for it would be to rediscuss all the great and lead­ing questions which have agitated the country since 1834. In all these questions Mr. Calhoun has taken part, freely, boldly, independently, - sometimes, on the side of the administration, sometimes on that of the opposition, sometimes against both; but always in obe­dience to the same leading thought, the same elevated, generous, and patriotic policy. He never offers a fac­tious opposition, nor yields an indiscriminate support. He always considers every question on its own grounds, and supports or opposes it for its own merits or demer­its, never in reference to its bearings on this or that party ; thus acting always from his own independent convictions, - from party dictation, never. Here he is strikingly distinguished from the chief of the Albany school, below whom, in the virtues of the partisan, he falls as far, as he rises above him in the virtues of the citizen, and the accomplishments of the statesman. Mr. Van Buren has, in politics, no standard of right and wrong but the will of his party, on the surface of which he floats, ready to take any direction the selfish views of its managers may give him ; he is always pliable, man­ageable, with no obstinate convictions of his own in his or anybody's way. He is the beau ideal of a.true party man, riding, as we said of him some years ago, on the storm, but not directing its course. We cannot say as much of Mr. Calhoun. His deficiencies in a party sense are notorious, and not to be concealed. He may use party, but he will not serve it; he may give law to it, but absolutely refuses to take the law from it. He assumes to judge even party itself, to labor to set it right, where wrong ; and, if he cannot set it right, he keeps on his course without it, or even against it. Mr. Van Buren is loyal to party; he will adhere to his party, when it is in the minority, as well as when it is in the majority; for he for his own success not on his own personal merits as a man, or a states­man, but solely on the success of his party; thus merg­ing, without reluctance, his own individuality in his party, and consenting to be nothing out, or independent of it; yet, if his party is divided, he takes good care to maintain a prudent reserve, or to 'vote with the larger division. What enemy of his has ever been able to isolate him from his party ? Who has ever caught the weasel asleep ? Mr. Calhoun, on the contrary, is often found voting with the minority of his party, often com­pletely isolated from it, and not unfrequently in decided opposition to it. Ascertain where his party is going, and you know where to find Mr. Van Buren ; to know where to find Mr. Calhoun, you must comprehend his principles of government, and his views of governmental policy, and perceive clearly where these lead, for there you may know beforehand he is sure to go, with, with­out, or against, party, as the case may be. To men, whose rule of action is to go with their party, and who have yet to learn that true consistency is in standing, not by one's party, but by one's principles, all this may seem very inconsistent, and to mark a man on whom no reliance can be placed ; to men, who, conscious of no individual merits or responsibilities of their own, seek to merge themselves in the irresponsibleness of party, all this may seem a very great imprudence, even a crying sin ; but we need not add, that it is the only course a high-minded and honorable man, conscious of his responsibility to his God and to his country, ever will, or ever can, take.
We intend returning to the subject of this article in our next, and to take up, at considerable length, Mr. Calhoun's senatorial career, subsequent to the passing of the Compromise Act. We will close our present re­marks, by saying, that we have introduced Mr. Calhoun into our pages, without reference to the fact, that he is now before the American people as a prominent candi­date for the Presidency. Whatever may be our personal feelings and wishes, we are, in point of fact, in no sense pledged to his support, and speak in no sense as the organ of him or his friends. In this Journal we are non-committal on the Presidential question, save so far as opposition to the reelection of Mr. Yan Bnren is con­cerned. To Mr. Van Buren we are decidedly opposed, and for reasons given in the preceding article. We are not opposed to him because we prefer Mr. Calhoun, or because we have" a personal preference for some other candidate; but on principle ; because we find in him no one qualification for the office to which he aspires, and because he represents, at present, a loose, political radicalism, which we believe it the duty of every citi­zen who loves his country, and wishes to preserve her institutions, firmly, boldly, and perseveringly to resist to the last. The people, in 1840, not without justice, demanded a change in the administration of the govern­ment, though we thought then, and still think, that that was not the most auspicious time for making it; but, as they demanded it, and effected it, we contend it would be worse than folly now to attempt to reverse their de­cision, and to restore the elder branch of the Bourbons. At the moment Mr. Ben ton made his move in favor of Mr. Van Buren, we, in our humble way, commenced a counter move; and, whichever may prove ultimately successful, we shall persevere in our opposition to the end.
We own, that we should rejoice to see Mr. Calhoun in the Presidential chair, not because he is a States' Rights man, not because he is an Anti-Tariff man, not because we adopt his views of most of the leading questions of the day, but because he is a pure and upright man, an honest, able, and high-minded statesman, and - no demagogue, or friend of demagogues. In the present crisis of the country, it is of much more importance to choose a man who will administer the government with a strong and honest hand, and rescue it from the control of the demagogues and spoilsmen, than it is to choose one of this or that political creed. The times require all who wish well to republican institutions to act from higher considerations than those of the ..success of this or that party. Any man, on whom the sound part of the peo­ple will unite, is our man. We go for the country, not for party, nor for justice to this or that individual.    Mr. Van Buren's friends may think he ought to be reflected in order to save his reputation, and it may be so ; Mr. Calhoun, his friends feel, needs nothing for himself; his reputation and fame are in no danger.